Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park: Not Just Another Walk in the Park

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The Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park, Utah—C.Helbig

I’m a little obsessed about making sure I get enough exercise. Sometimes I “miss-out” on beautiful trails because I dismiss them as too easy.  After our wonderful hike to Observation Point in Zion National Park, Mike and I hopped onto the park shuttle bus to take us back to our car at the visitor center. It was such a gorgeous day we decided to get off a couple of stops early, at Canyon Junction, and walk the rest of the way along the Pa’rus Trail. Great decision! The late day lighting was stunning and it was the perfect, peaceful, cool-down walk. We enjoyed it so much we did it twice more during our stay at Zion. 

The Pa’rus Trail is named after the Paiute word for “rushing water”. It meanders along the Virgin River with glorious mountain views in all directions, and it’s as easy as trails come. The flat, paved path is accessible for the mobility impaired, and open to bike riders and dog walkers. The 1.7 mile (2.7 km) trail (one way) runs between the Zion Visitor Center and Canyon Junction shuttle bus stop. This walk is best done early in the morning and late afternoon.

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Sunset along Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park—C.Helbig

After our Observation Point hike, our timing on the Pa’rus Trail coincided perfectly with the most dramatic illumination as the sun was setting over the mountains. It looked like the peaks were on fire and contrasted spectacularly with the grey sky and rising moon.

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Fiery red peaks at sunset along Pa’rus Trail—C.Helbig

It was soon too dark for more photography (at least for our skill level) so we simply enjoyed watching twilight fall over Zion National Park  as we strolled back to our car. Mike and I both decided we wanted to return the next day.

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Morning view along Pa’rus Trail—C.Helbig

The next morning, the Pa’rus Trail provided us with amazing views of some of  Zion’s most iconic peaks. The photo above and below look toward the Tower of the Virgin peaks, with the distinctive West Temple on the left side and the ominously named Altar of Sacrifice on the right side.

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Altar of Sacrifice (red-streaked mountain)—C.Helbig

After our morning walk, we explored the Kolob Terrace Road section of the park (my next post) but returned in time to do another walk on the Pa’rus Trail, capturing images of a perfect November day in Zion National Park. It was one of our most serene experiences during our trip.  Next time, I won’t be so quick to dismiss trails with easy ratings.

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The Pa’rus Trail travels along the Virgin River—C.Helbig

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Easy trail, spectacular scenery—C.Helbig

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The Pa’rus Trail is perfect for a peaceful late-day stroll—C.Helbig

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…Or a peaceful bike ride—C.Helbig

Other Favourite Easy/Short Trail in Zion National Park

  • The Canyon Overlook Trail, along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, is only 1 mile (1.6 km) and has spectacular views across Zion Canyon. It has steep drop-offs, but it is mostly fenced. Definitely stop here, especially if you are approaching the park from the east. We had camera issues, so my photos are not blog-worthy, but check out this post on The Canyon Overlook Trail by fellow blogger Meghan.

Next post will feature the gorgeous roadside scenery and a few short hikes along Zion National Park’s Kolob Terrace Road.

Categories: Activities, United States | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park: Not Just Another Walk in the Park

  1. This is a stunning trail to walk and your photographs do it justice. Looking forward to your other posts. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Caroline, Oh my god what stunning shots, The orange ones at the beginning, wow. Coming back to this post but wanted you to know I have linked out to your blog on my last post, You may need to approve the link. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Louise, we have just returned from a month in Cambodia/Laos and I will now slowly start to catch up with my blog and go through my reader. A bit daunting. I do recall seeing a recent post from you and look forward to reading. I’ll check on that link. Thanks! I plan to write a couple more Utah posts before I move on to SE Asia. Cheers, Caroline

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning views. The shots with the moon stole my breath-beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gah! You got me missing Zion bad haha! Nice pictures, and I can relate to your comment about passing on “easy” trails, but the Pa’rus Trail is lovely! My in-laws are heading there this year, so I’ll have to share this with them. Great pictures, and thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, incredible shot of the moon!

    I know what you mean about shying away from shorter hikes – this post is a great reminder to not discount them!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those photos with the moon…..are absolutely gorgeous!! Truly phenomenal. Dusk is my favorite time of day to be outside and enjoying the soft light.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ashley. Yes I’m learning that easy trails can be great trails especially if you catch them at the right time.

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    • Hi Peta. Sorry I tend to mess up my replies when I’m travelling and working from my phone. Mike is hogging the lap top!!! I must agree with you about the beauty of dusk. We hit thus trail at the perfect time and it was magical.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy New Year, Caroline! Hope your holidays were wonderful. Your reminder not to dismiss “easy” hikes resonated deeply with me as I’m quick to fall into a similar trap. I get so obsessed with squeezing in every iconic hike within a park that I often forget to slow down and simply enjoy the park. And that fiery sunset you caught on the Pa’rus trail? Absolutely stunning. I couldn’t agree more with your Canyon Overlook suggestion; we loved that hike, too. Looking forward to catching up with your posts–they’ve helped so much with our summer planning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year to you too! I’m glad my posts are of assistance to you. I need to take my own advice about slowing down. We are currently in Bangkok-an amazing but chaotic city and we’ve been cramming way too much into our days. I could use a Pa’rus trail type of experience right about now. I’ll try and post a few more Utah updates but if you’ve got questions just let me know. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love that you’re ushering in the new year abroad! Also, I’m equal parts alarmed and delighted that you’re replying while on vacation, lol. Bangkok sounds like an amazing destination; I can’t wait to read about your adventures. Thank you so much for your kind offer of help…safe and happy (and a touch of Pa’rus Zen!) travels to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. WOW ! That park looks amazing ! It can be great walking through that nature 🙂 Wanna be there

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I too avoid hikes that are labeled “easy.” Does that make us hiking snobs? 😆 Hiking the Narrows and climbing Angel’s Landing were such revelations that Zion NP became one of my favorites. Your glowing photos are a fantastic reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha,perhaps it does! Though a few of the easy ones are outstanding and I’d do them again in a heartbeat. I so much want to do The Narrows next time we are in Zion. It is an amazing park.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to know there is an easy trail in Zion. It seems like most of the trails are up and out of the steep canyon. Some of those look terrifying!

    Beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jeff. Yes, many trails are not for the faint of heart. My hubby refused to do Angels Landing, but and I’m happy he did Observation Point (previous post). Great park.

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  11. Brian Foster

    That’s about my level of exertion. Sure is a nice view though. Sunset was fiery.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I often skip those easy trails too – but I obviously should go walk this one!! We have some friends who’ll be staying in the area for a few weeks this spring and I’ll definitely be recommending this trail to them. Beautiful shots of the glowing sandstone!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the photos of the moon in the early twilight. I tend to share your feeling of dismissing easier trails as not challenging enough, especially when we have limited time in a place. However, as a photographer, it is nice to have an easy short trail like this one when I’m carrying a lot of heavy camera gear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rich. This trail is great for photographers and we also saw some painters set up along the side. It parallels the main road through the park, so extremely easy access, but feels very secluded. Seeing scenes like the moon at twilight motivates us to learn more about photography.

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  14. Gorgeous photos — love how you captured the moon!

    Liked by 1 person

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